Intensity pleases Smith
Wolves boss happy to see his side win defensive battle
Last Updated: July 9, 2012 11:31pm
Tony Smith: Thought contest with Dragons was full of quality despite low score
Warrington coach Tony Smith was pleased his side were able to win a "high-class" defensive battle with Catalan Dragons on Monday night.
The Wolves ensured they stayed second in the Stobart Super League table with a hard-fought 15-6 victory over the French side in front of the Sky Sports cameras at Halliwell Jones Stadium.
And Smith is happy that Warrington, who suffered a surprisingly heavy defeat to Salford last time out, will go into Sunday's Challenge Cup semi-final against Huddersfield on the back of an intense contest.
"It was a real step-up in intensity, particularly after last week. It was a contrast for us in terms of how organised our defence was," Smith said.
"I thought it was a high-class game of rugby league. Neither team was at their best in attack but there were two committed defences and you had to graft your way through it. It was hard, tough rugby league.
"We were up against one of the best teams in the competition and we lifted our intensity. The Catalans are a very good team and at the back end of the year they will be up there threatening."
Smith was forced to change his team just before kick-off when stand-off Lee Briers pulled out with an Achilles injury, with Stefan Ratchford demonstrating his versatility by switching from full-back.
Smith added: "Lee trained all week but his Achilles wasn't right to play. It came as a shock to us all. Stefan did a fantastic job to say he didn't know he was playing until 40 minutes before kick-off."
The Dragons missed a chance to move up into second place as they were handed a first defeat in three games, but coach Trent Robinson was pleased with his side's efforts.
Robinson added: "You want to see more of those battles in our game. We had more arm wrestles than we've had in a long, long time and it was good to see.
"We could have fallen apart in that first half but we fought our way back in. I'm disappointed with our execution but the attitude and the defence that we've created over the last three weeks shows we're heading in the right direction."